Big news this week was that I was interviewed by good folks at FenwayWest.com (by Matt O’Donnell). You can read the whole interview here: “Interview With Daigo Fujiwara from JapaneseBallPlayers.com.” There were lots of good questions! Other than that, my tweets are mostly about Japanese players in MLB, such as Ryota Igarashi (who signed with the Mets) Daisuke, Hideki Matsui, Kei Igawa etc. I am reading Matsui’s book Fudoshin, loosely translated to ”The heart that does not waver,” and is very good. I am impressed.
I’ve been blogging and tweeting way too much about the baseball stuff (which is on my mind constantly) but here is a posting about “work” stuff that I do. There I came across 28 Rich Data Visualization Tools posting on the web, and I have not looked at all the links, but they look awesome.
Busy twitter week as there were lots of baseball transactions. Red Sox get John Lackey and MIke Cameron, Hideki Matsui signs with Angels, Ryota Igarashi with Mets, and two former-Cy Young winner moves in a block buster deal between Blue Jays-Mariners-Phillies. Geez I tweet a lot about baseball.
In the weeks since the Series victory, it became abundantly clear that resigning Hideki was not one of the Yankees’ priorities. Hideki’s overriding concerns have always been winning and playing for a quality organization. Over his 17 seasons in pro ball, his only two teams have been the Yankees and the Yomiuri Giants. Each is the premier franchise in its respective league. Beyond the Yanks, his preferences were the Angels and the Boston Red Sox, two dominating franchises with superb players, coaches and management. But with David Ortiz entrenched as Boston’s everyday designated hitter, the Red Sox were never a real option. When Angels DH Vladimir Guerrero filed for free-agency, L.A. became even more attractive to Hideki.
What? Wait a minute. “Beyond the Yanks, his preferences were the Angels and the Boston Red Sox.?” Whoa, imagine having two of the three Japanese super star MLB players, Ichiro, Matsuzaka and Matsui? That would be just crazy. And it is also notable that a baseball agent is freely blogging what is going on (obviously after the fact, but still). I am not complaining, it is great, just different.
One of the biggest news in Japanese baseball front in this MLB hot stove season is that Hideki Matsui left the New York Yankees and signed with Los Angeles Angels. Seeing him wear Angels uniform for the first time was as strange as when I saw Nomar Garciaparra in Cubs uniform for the first time.
One of the funny thing that came out of it was that I guess last off season, Hideki Matsui filmed a TV commercial with Japanese beverage company Kirin, which promote new line of coffee named “Fire.” In the commercial, Matsui is wearing a red helmet and “F” on his helmet.
Many thought the red helmet did not suit him, (and neither did I) then. Some were saying that it was an omen that he may sign with team with red helmet after he hits free agency… (I didn’t/don’t really believe in it, but just an excuse to post something with Japanese ads on my blog.)
Last but not least, This is the problem I have faced for a long time, but when WordPress went from 2.0.x to 2.2, they changed the “database character set and the collation” rules, and I have not updated couple of my blogs. There seems to be a solution now: Converting Database Character Sets (Japanese here). Maybe next time when I have a lot of time, I will finally do it. My previous search lead me to this and this, but I think the WordPress article is more practical?
Obviously, I am not doing something right. Since Japanese characters I used is turned into “?”s.
Tried changing WP-config.php‘s database collation to unicode by editing define('DB_COLLATE', 'utf8_general_ci'); but not seems to be working. Mmmmm.
I recently changed my twitter name from @daigofujiwara to @DaigoFujiso that is it a little shorter, fixed to upper-lower case (before it was all lower) easier to reply and retweet. After all, In 140 characters limit, difference between 14 and 10 is pretty significant. Fortunately, Twitter allow you to change this and still remember all the replies and mentions. Not perfect, since search results and most external websites and links pointed to the old account, but a useful blog posting had a very good suggestion to just get that old account and pointing to the new one, instead of “the account does not exist” error.
… The Red Sox would love Gonzalez, a lefthanded hitter who hits a lot of balls to left and left-center, in their lineup, but so far there’s been no movement by the Padres to swing a deal with two years remaining on Gonzalez’s contract.
I took a quick look at Adrian Gonzalez’ hitting chart from MLB.com (This is available to every player in MLB. That’s how I made this graphic.) Here is how Adrian Gonzalez hit in his home field, San Diego’s PETCO Park in 2009. *Showing Singles (37) Doubles (12) Triples (2) and Home Runs (12) and Fly Outs (67). (He also hit 70 ground outs, which was mostly to right side of diamond.) He definitely possesses an opposite-field power.
Here is Adrian Gonzalez’ 67 fly outs in PETCO Park, and on top of it, I roughly placed a shape of Fenway Park.
So he had 40 home runs in 2009, and while I know I am foolish to think that all 13 of those would hit or went over the monster, wouldn’t it be cool to dream? Oh and by the way, 54 home runs hit by David Ortiz in 2006 is now the record for home runs hit by a Red Sox player. I’m just saying.